The Dog's Blogs
By mel_askew, Apr 13 2016 03:00PM
Ok, so we all know that 'Black Dog' is a commonly used expression for being depressed, and we know that many of you will think that re-naming our shop 'Black Dog' is a big mistake ....
However we disagree and in fact, we think it's the best thing we've done for ages!
13 years ago when we first came to Lostwithiel, our shop was already 'The Old Palace Antiques', so named because of course, it's housed in part of the Old Duchy Palace of Lostwithiel. The previous owner had been trading as a very traditional antiques business here for about 20 years and wanted to retire. The outside of the shop was brown on brown and the inside of the shop was beige on beige with industrial carpeted flooring and and smoothly plastered walls and was, quite frankly, characterless!
Having only been in the antiques trade for less than 3 years, we were still very green and so eager to get up and running in the 'Antiques Capital of Cornwall' that we changed very little, throwing some "classy" red paint about, filling the space with a predictable array of antiques and collectables (brown & pine furniture, various pottery, cranberry glass, oil lamps) you know the score, basically anything and everything that was no different to every other antique shop going - not exactly cutting edge were we?
Over the years though we have constantly evolved - changing paint colours, ditching the hideous carpet, stripping walls back to stone and most importantly, striving to be different, improving the quality of our stock offering, adding to our customer service and moving with the times whilst still retaining the same old boring name 'Old Palace Antiques', like we feared that a change of name would cause too much confusion and would be too much hard work.
Through all of this was one loyal and trustworthy member of our family, who took it all in his stride and greeted our customers daily with a warm welcome, thumping his tail on the floor and making sure that nobody dared to ignore him by lying across the the entrance of the shop, forcing everyone to jump (or trip) over him on their way in - Dusty Bin, our very own Black Dog.
We noticed that customers on their return visits would often comment as soon as they walked in "Where's your black dog?" or "Oh yes, I came in here when I was on holiday 3 years ago, I remember your black dog". We often joked and said that maybe we should have been called Black Dog.
Sadly, our Dusty is no longer with us but to this day we are still asked about our black dog. And so it's in memory of our dear Dusty who was unique, quirky and very special, and because our shop is so different now to when we started out, and because we should have done it years ago, we are finally stamping our mark on it (or actually Dusty's mark) and re-naming our shop to something less predictable.